A Reflection on Old Soles

We have a family history of shoe goo,
Of spray on rubber soul,
As in Beatles in our shoes,
I mean sole removed or peelin’ tell you how we feelin’

I mean, we have been molding fabric to our feet longer than we have been living here,
And I can count on my fingers and toes each of the houses and years they belong to
That is to say, as of this fall, my converse all ratty and grey have traipsed through three homes
And be tearing at the seams
That is to say, it seems that the last time my dad bought boots was in Canada,
Which means he has dragged mud, crud and snow into four different homes,
That is to say, we find more home in the ground beneath us than the rooves above us
I mean, we make our shoes last
They be eternal,
Be saint-like,
Be holy,
Be worn out

We even wear out the tears

I mean, as a multi-month process,
We make mental preparations
To move in or move out of the shoes we have built homes in.

And so now I am in college,
A fresh pair of ruby slippers in my closet,
Those red converse that my mother made me buy
Said they’d do better to keep my feet dry or keep me on my feet or help me take a step in the right direction,

That is to say, I have moved in
And I have moved out, but I have never moved on
So some nights I wonder why I am not comfortable with being comfortable
Why some nights, I wonder why I am not yet homesick
If it is because I have cold feet, all soggy canvas from this rainy campus,
If I have not yet dug myself into this dirt,
If it is because those shoes still sit in their box, hidden in my closet,
Like a cardboard converse coffin,
While I parade around in shoes that shouldn’t hold together anymore.
I wonder if I am not homesick because I brought a form of home with me,
But then I wonder why I am not homesick because I didn’t bring my family,
Or if I am not yet homesick because I brought some of our stories instead,
Our paint splatters and messy memories,
Something to help me stomp out my insecurities
And take these first steps on my own.

By Emma Fuchs